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April 19th, 2007

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01:07 am - i think too much
anyone who has talked philosophy with me knows i am strongly against fate. i don't like it, everything it demands, everything it allows. it makes life meaningless because whatever happens, whatever anyone does, that's just fate and it was supposed to happen and oh well. if you suffer, well you were supposed to suffer, it's not because anything. so i don't like fate.
but of course, things happen beyond our control, and either they were meant to happen or they were not. if not, if chance, well what's the difference? if all the free will in the world doesn't save you from being hit by a bus, then it doesn't matter if it was fated or it just happened. you're dead and you're dead, just because. and you could never know the difference. a bird poops on your head, how can you tell if it was meant to poop on your head or it just happened to? whether something is chance or fate would be totally blind from our perspective. it's a meaningless distinction.
so in summary, whether i allow fate or not, life is meaningless. maybe i'll be a nihilist this week.

(5 shots upside the head | en garde!)


[User Picture]
Date:April 19th, 2007 06:00 am (UTC)
dan and i were just discussing this wrt the virginia tech thing. i guess this holocaust survivor saved a bunch of his students and got shot in the process.

and dan says, if you believe in destiny, one of those students must be really fucking important for that guy to survive the holocaust to save them.

and i said, and if you don't, one of those students might say "it really fucking sucks that my teacher survived the holocaust just to get shot saving me. i'd better actually do something with my life now."

it's all about framing.
[User Picture]
Date:April 19th, 2007 06:38 am (UTC)
so wait...
you're saying that things happen. and they're either fated or chance, but since we can't tell which, life doesn't matter?

what about all the stuff we make happen? what if the stuff that's fated or chanced makes us feel really happy and warm? what if the bird poop was just the bird poop had a lot of pro-vitamins and made your hair super healthy which caught the eye of your true love?

what if it's neither fate nor chance, but all cause and effect, which i guess is a non-religious way of saying fate. i remember reading somewhere that if the universe held still for one second, and someone could observe it for that second, it would be possible to mathematically predict the future all the way to the end of the universe. but that never made much sense to me because how can you mathematically predict which lj community i'll go to on a whim one day and which post i'll read and that that post will be written by an irish man who three years later will come and visit? what if everything significant is more an anomole?

i don't know, i'm tired, but i don't agree with you, but that's probably because i'm happy with life right now and you're not, but i'm sleepy and don't really know how to sound smart.

the end.
[User Picture]
Date:April 20th, 2007 01:15 pm (UTC)
that's not precisely what i meant. you know i think fate makes life meaningless -- which i'm not sure if that means it doesn't matter or not -- and now i'm wondering if chance doesn't amount to the same thing.
whether someone's fate is good or bad is not the point (though granted if it was good i would probably care much less about this). bird poop giving me my true love would be swell, but it wouldn't have anything to do with me, really. fate means whatever you do is irrelevent because it's gonna happen anyway and you just happen to be there.
quantum mechanics, as far as i know, says that someone in fact couldn't predict the whole universe after all (and i read a theory once that quantum effects are where consciousness actually comes from, but that's neither here nor there). before that, though, the idea was you could predict what people will do on a whim because all we do is based on the physics and chemistry of our brains.
Date:April 19th, 2007 12:38 pm (UTC)


Some things do happen by being in the wrong place at the wrong time or conversely the right place at the right time. On the other hand, while we can't control everything, of course, we can increase our chances for certain outcomes, e.g. smoking will increase your chances of getting lung cancer while not smoking will decrease them. While we may not always be able to insure the results, our behaviors will often influence the outcome one way or another. Love, Mom.
Date:April 20th, 2007 02:32 pm (UTC)
nihilism is just an excuse to be lazy and disengaged from life.
i think, though, that our job as human beings is to create meaning from an otherwise meaningless universe. kind of like the earth "computer" built by deep thought in hitchhiker's guide, we are the question that makes the answer significant. if we didn't wonder if fate or chance or free will were controlling the outcome of our lives, we'd be pondering some other similarly intractable question, and reaching similar inconclusive answers that make us realize that life has many mysteries and surprises, which helps keep us from becoming totally jaded.
what you are really saying is that whether life is meaningful or not, whether this world is meaningful or not, doesn't matter because in the end you suffer and die anyway, so what's the point?
that question is the beginning of all faith in something beyond this life. why would human beings from the dawn of time ask this if it didn't have an answer? the answer is that yes, there must be something more to existence. and there are hints of this scattered thoughout our world and our thoughts and our interactions with other people, that there is nore than what is going on in the material realm.
quantum physics were mentioned. in physics, in order to predict the future location of a particle, you must know 3 things -- the particle's current location, it's current velocity, and it's current direction of movement. also, any forces acting on it that might change that vector. the reason that the uncertainty priciple holds true is because we can only ever know two of those basic three things about a subatomic particle, (electrons) and as far as light goes, we can't even know whether the photons will exist at any given moment as a wave or particle or at all. the very basic components of the universe are experiencing the same doubts about existence and predetermination as us! and yet the universe continues to exist, even though no single particle within it knows what our next material configuration will be.
Also, things on the level which we observe with our senses is full of beauty and wonderous things, and love and other things that make life worth living and make us want to keep existing. Maybe those things are there at all levels, and there is a force, beyond inertia, a will in the universe that keeps it all going based on that.
I venture to suggest that that is the creative will of God. Creation is the answer to our question, "What is the meaning of life?" If you can learn to see yourself as part of God's creation, you will find meaning in both life AND death, whether it seems random or not. The meaning is something we create in response to God having created us, just like any loving relationship requires input from both lovers to truly exist as love, a meaningful universe containing meaningful lives requires input from both the creator of the universe and the creatures living lives within it, because we are one in spirit. There is part of God in us, part of that creative will driving existence, and because of that we can be assured that existence will always be with us, and that God will continue to create a world for us, as spiritual beings, to find beautiful meaning in, as long as we continue to seek and find Him in that meaning.
Nihilism is like looking at a clear running stream, wondering why you're thirsty, and giving up before it occurs to you to take a drink.

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